The French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, has used the 25th France-Africa summit to call for African countries to have a bigger say on the world stage. Opening the meeting in Nice, he said the continent should have a place on the UN Security Council.
Africa, which makes up more than a quarter of UN members, has been asking for two rotating permanent seats.
As a start, France wants to see non-permanent membership raised from two to ten years.
“Africa’s failure would be Europe’s tragedy,“ said the president, adding that it was no longer possible to deal with big world issues without Africa.
Nicolas Sarkozy promised to back reforms when France takes the helm of the G8 and G20 groups of big economies next year.
Thirty-eight African government leaders and heads of state travelled to Nice for the two-day summit, including from large English-speaking countries as well as former French colonies.
Sarkozy calls for bigger African role